Borrowing hit £8bn in October

21 Nov 17

Government borrowing increased by £500m to £8bn in October compared with this time last year, while the national debt increased by £147.8bn, according to official figures.

Rising debt costs, linked to Britain’s higher inflation since the Brexit vote, were a driver of the shortfall, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A Reuters poll of economists had forcast a borrowing requirement of only £7bn for the month.

Despite the increase in October borrowing, public sector net borrowing is lower in this financial year-to-date compared with the same period in 2016. Between April and October borrowing stood at £38.5bn, £4.1bn less than this time last year.

The ONS noted that is the lowest year-to-date net borrowing since 2007.

Today’s figures show public sector net debt continues to increase. It was £1,790.4bn at the end of October 2017, equivalent to 87.2% of GDP, an increase of £147.8bn or 4.5 percentage points as a ratio of GDP on October 2016.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “These figures are a reminder of the continued failure of both Philip Hammond and Theresa May over these past seven years.

“The deficit has still not been eliminated as they promised it would be by 2015, and the national debt continues to grow.”

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